June 15, 2008

CONFUSING BEST WITH VALUABLE:

An Offensive Prediction's Demise (Michael Wilbon, June 15, 2008, Washington Post)

Most of us were seduced by the glamour, by Phil Jackson's championship rings, by Kobe Bryant's celestial talent, by the Lakers' ability to run and shoot so beautifully. That's certainly why I picked the Lakers to beat the Celtics when the NBA Finals began, because of Jackson, the best coach in the game, and Bryant, the best and most valuable player.

The vast majority of us should be ashamed for being so blinded by the glare of the Lakers because it was all right there in front of us even before the championship series began. The Celtics aren't just better than the Lakers; they're superior. Whether it happens here Sunday night or Tuesday in Boston, the Celtics are going to win the franchise's 17th NBA title and first in 22 years.

The Celtics are going to win because of stunningly obvious reasons, because they have more good players, because they're bigger and stronger up front, because they play infinitely better defense, because they kill the Lakers on the boards.


Defense and rebounding are just functions of desire and that's what Kevin Garnett transfers to his teammates. Kobe, by contrast, doesn't make anyone else a better player.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 15, 2008 12:29 PM
Comments

The Celtics aren't just better than the Lakers; they're superior.

Can sports writing get any better than that?

(Where have you gone, Yogi Berra? A nation lifts its....)

Posted by: Barry Meislin at June 15, 2008 1:33 PM

You are right about Kobe v. Garnett. But that stuff only matters at the margins. MJ "made people better" and he was a maniac about only bringing in or keeping certain guys (like rodman)....

Switch supporting casts for Kobe and KG and see what happens...

And KG winning anyway is not the right answer: see every one of KG's 12 or 13 previous years as evidence...

Posted by: Benny at June 15, 2008 4:51 PM

oj,
I believe it was you, who earlier posted "Kobe's never won a Championship w/o Shaq".
Mike
BTW, I loathe Kobe, Lakers and NBA! My dream is to show a 60's NBA Ref a video of any 2008 NBA game and ask him how many uncalled fouls there were. Travelling alone would get into hi-double digits.

Posted by: Mike at June 15, 2008 5:47 PM

Watching the first three games and observing the athleticism of the two teams, I figured that the Celtics were good enough to win at least one of three at LA.

That is the end of story: The Celtics are athletic enough to beat them at LA, and there is no conceivable way that LA will beat them in any games at Boston. They'll be lucky to stretch this to six.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 15, 2008 6:32 PM

Check out Schilling's blog (38Pitches.com) for an interesting behind-the bench-take on the NBA atmosphere in general, and Kobe in particular -- it makes for interesting reporting, particularly from a fellow athlete.

Posted by: Bill at June 15, 2008 8:04 PM

If the C's had gotten Kobe instead of KG they wouldn't play D, they'd try and score a lot.

Posted by: oj at June 15, 2008 8:07 PM

Oh please, please Lakers, come back and win this. Just for the shear enjoyment of that numbskull Wilbon getting the same series wrong twice.

Posted by: pjbbuzz [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 15, 2008 10:02 PM
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